The Inside Scoop: Maxing Out Kroger Employee Discounts

Saving Big as a Kroger Employee

As someone who has worked at Kroger for the past few years, I’ve gotten pretty savvy about how to make the most of the Kroger employee discounts offered to us. With the cost of everything going up these days, I rely on my employee discount more than ever to stretch my dollar further.

In this blog, I’ll give you the inside scoop on how Kroger employees like myself can save big with our exclusive discounts. I’ll share details on what discounts are available, how they work, and tips to maximize the savings. Ready to unlock the secrets of the Kroger employee discount program? Let’s dive in!

An Overview of the Kroger Employee Discount

As a Kroger employee, I receive a 10% discount off eligible purchases at Kroger stores, no exclusions. This discount applies to everything except alcohol, tobacco, gift cards, money services, and fuel.

The 10% is taken off at the register automatically when I present my Kroger Plus Card that’s linked to my employee account. It doesn’t work like a coupon I have to present. The savings are applied to my total purchase after all coupons and other discounts.

On top of the 10% discount, I also regularly get special Bonus Boosts of 20-30% off certain departments or categories. For example, a few times a year we’ll get a Boost on natural foods or Kroger-branded items. It’s like an extra employee appreciation discount!

Compared to other grocery retailers, the Kroger employee discount is pretty standard. Many offer around 10-20% off for employees. But some of Kroger’s Boosts exceed discounts I’ve seen at places like Walmart or Target.

Combining Discounts for Max Savings

One excellent perk of the Kroger employee discount is that I can stack it with other discounts and coupons. My strategy is always to combine my 10% with any weekly digital coupons, Friday freebies, and store promotions for maximum savings.

During big event sales like Mega Events, I’ll save even more by mixing my employee discount with the special sales. For example, let’s say Kroger runs a Mega Event with Progresso Soup on sale 10 for $10. As an employee, I would get them for $9 with the 10% discount.

The other week, I combined a digital $1 off Maybelline Cosmetics coupon with a Buy 5 Save $5 promotion PLUS my employee discount. I saved $11 on makeup! When you strategically stack all possible discounts, the savings really add up.

Navigating Exclusions

While most purchases are eligible for the employee discount, there are a few exclusions. As mentioned before, we can’t use our discount on alcohol, tobacco, gift cards, money services or fuel.

For pharmacy purchases, the discount only applies to out of pocket co-pays, not what your insurance covers. One tricky area is general merchandise – some products are excluded, like electronics. Your discount shouldn’t be applied to jewelry purchases either.

I always glance at my receipt after checkout to ensure my discount properly applied to everything besides exclusions. If not, I can stop by customer service on my way out to get any missed discounts credited.

Tapping Into the Discount Online

One perk of working at Kroger is that I can use my employee discount both in-store and online. When I shop through Kroger.com or the mobile app, my discount is applied automatically as long as my Kroger Plus Card is linked to the order.

The process was confusing at first, but I got the hang of it. Here are my tips for new employees using their discount online:

  • Make sure your employee account is linked to a Kroger.com account. You need an email and password login.
  • Input your Kroger Plus Card number in your Account Settings so it’s saved. This automatically applies your discount to orders.
  • If your discount isn’t showing up, try switching to “Pay at Store” payment option – this guarantees it will be applied at pickup.
  • For delivery orders, add your Kroger Plus Card under Payment Methods. This should trigger the discount.

Using my employee discount online is awesome for when I don’t feel like stepping foot in the store on my day off!

Saving Big with No Limits

Unlike some retailers, Kroger doesn’t limit how much employees can save with the discount. I’ve heard stories of people at places like Best Buy only being able to use their discount up to a certain dollar amount each year.

Luckily, that’s not a concern at Kroger. There’s no annual limit to how much I can save with the 10% off. Most payperiods, the amount I save with my discount exceeds what I earn in tips as a Clicklist employee!

Of course, I still try to use common sense and not go overboard. But it’s nice having the freedom to apply my discount to as many eligible purchases as I want.

Sharing the Discount with Family

My favorite thing about working for Kroger? Being able to share my employee discount with household family members!

As long as I designate someone as a household member, they can get a Kroger Plus Card connected to my employee discount. Spouses, parents, kids, grandparents – anyone in my household is eligible.

The process was easy. I just had to stop by the employee service desk and provide names and proof of household status. Now my husband and two daughters have Kroger Plus Cards that apply my 10% discount when they shop.

Between all of us, we save hundreds of dollars per year through the family member discount. It feels good being able to hook up my family with savings on groceries and household essentials.

New Hires Wait 90 Days for Discount

I get asked all the time by new employees when they’ll get their Kroger discount card activated. There is a bit of a waiting period for new hires before discounts kick in.

Employee discounts become available after about 90 days of working for Kroger. I remember counting down the days until I hit that threshold! The waiting period exists to prevent abuse of the generous discount policy.

In the meantime, new employees can still load digital coupons and take advantage of weekly promotions for some savings until their 90 days are up. But I definitely remember longing for those instant 10% savings when I first started. Just be patient, the discount will unlock before you know it!

Using Discounts in All Departments

Some retail employees only get discounts in the department they work in. Thankfully, this isn’t the case at Kroger. My employee discount applies storewide in every department, except for the few exclusions mentioned earlier.

I work Clicklist picking groceries for pickup orders. But my discount applies equally to the Pharmacy, Jewelry department, Home & Auto section, etc. I don’t have to be in a specific department to get the 10% off.

It’s especially great for stocking up in Pharmacy. I save a bundle on prescription copays and pills thanks to the discount. Even the Jewelry department recognizes my employee card, excluding fine jewelry where they limit discounts. The storewide perk is much appreciated.

Bigger Holiday Discounts

The holidays are when working at Kroger really pays off. On top of our normal 10% discount, employees regularly get Bonus Boosts of up to 30% off during the holidays.

Usually starting in early November, Boosts apply extra discounts to holiday cooking essentials, toys, electronics, home goods, and more. Right when you’re likely buying the most for gatherings and gift-giving!

The Holiday Boosts stack with the 10% discount for huge savings. Last year, I scored a discounted air fryer and wireless headphones as gifts using a combo of Boosts, coupons, and my employee card. Keep an eye out for Holiday Bonus Boosts!

Fixing Issues at Customer Service

With all the discounts and promotions floating around, sometimes things fall through the cracks at checkout. When my employee discount doesn’t get applied properly, I simply head to Customer Service after purchase.

The folks at Customer Service can verify my employment status and have always been able to credit me the amount of any missed discounts. That’s why I recommend glancing at receipts before leaving the store – easier to get discounts applied immediately versus returning later.

I also encourage new employees to get familiar with Customer Service. They can help with Plus Card issues, price checks, and making sure discounts get utilized properly. Don’t be shy, they are happy to assist!

All Employees Qualify for Discounts

One nice element of Kroger’s discount policy is that all employees qualify, regardless of part-time or full-time status. As long as you are officially employed by Kroger, you can take advantage of the 10% off and other savings.

In retail, there tends to be a divide between full-time and part-time staff benefits. But Kroger makes sure discounts apply equally to both. I work part-time and still get the same savings as my full-time manager.

Even seasonal workers like those hired for the holidays get access to employee discounts. Discounts are about the only perk we part-timers get at Kroger – so I’m thankful we’re included!

Extending Discounts Beyond Groceries

Most people think of Kroger as just a grocery store. But as employees, we get some nice discounts on non-grocery services as well.

For example, we can sign up for discounted gym memberships through Kroger’s partner PerkSpot. I now have a cheap 24 Hour Fitness membership thanks to this employee perk.

We also have access to exclusive employee rates on cell phone plans through AT&T and Verizon. I switched carriers and saved $15/month on my cell bill. Can’t complain!

On top of that, there are discounts on hotels, movie tickets, car purchases, insurance, and more. Keep an eye out for extra ways to stretch your employee dollars.

Following the Rules

As with any employee discount program, there are rules in place to prevent misuse. Kroger has to keep everything ethical and prevent taking advantage.

Some key policies I always keep in mind:

  • Only I can use my employee Plus Card. Letting someone else use it could result in firing.
  • Discounts are for personal use, not commercial resale. I can’t buy products just to resell for profit.
  • Boosts and event sales apply caps on how many discounted items I can buy. I adhere to these limits.
  • I’m discreet when using my discount. We’re asked not to bring attention to ourselves.

Following the rules ensures I get to keep access to the generous employee discounts. It’s not worth jeopardizing over minor convenience.

Recent Policy Changes

In my time with Kroger, I’ve noticed a few changes to the employee discount policy aimed at modernizing:

  • Digital coupons can now be combined with the discount. When I started, this wasn’t allowed.
  • The grocery discount increased from 8% to 10% off. An extra 2% adds up!
  • Discounts can now be used for grocery pickup orders, not just in-store purchases.
  • Boosts and sales used to exclude name brand items. Now discounts can apply to any mix of name brand and private selection items.
  • Holiday Boosts expanded from just Thanksgiving/Christmas to also include other peak seasons like back-to-school shopping.

It’s nice to see Kroger evolving with the times and enhancing the employee discounts. I’m excited to see what changes may come in the future.

Looking Ahead

While the current Kroger employee discount gives awesome savings, I do wonder sometimes if they will enhance it even more.

It seems like many retailers slowly increase employee discounts over time to stay competitive. I’ll always take more, but 10% off already provides huge savings.

One improvement I’d love to see is adding some limited exclusions to the policy. For example, allowing the discount on alcohol or gas at least once a month. Baby steps!

For now, I’m satisfied with the current discount and Boosts. But time will tell if Kroger expands the program even more.

Verify Employment to Access Discounts

To keep the system honest, Kroger requires proof of employment to connect employee discounts to Plus Cards. Don’t worry – verifying yourself is easy!

As a new employee, I had to stop by employee services and present my driver’s license along with a recent paystub. This associates you as an employee in Kroger’s system.

I’ve heard some stores even have self-service kiosks to link your employee status to a new or existing Plus Card on your own. Either way, it just takes a quick minute to verify.

Having this verification step deters non-employees from trying to sneak access to our discounts. So I don’t mind taking a few extra minutes to prove myself. Gotta keep it legit!

Stackable Savings: Discounts + Coupons

Earlier I talked about mixing Kroger’s weekly digital coupons with my employee discount for big savings. But print manufacturer coupons can also be combined!

In fact, I find higher value print coupons in the Sunday paper and fridge packs all the time that I add onto my employee discount.

As long as the coupon clearly states “Manufacturer Coupon” or “MFR”, Kroger lets you stack it with the 10% off. Just present the clipped coupon at checkout after they scan your loyalty card.

Combining my discount with print and digital coupons gives the ultimate savings. I love walking out with a big haul that I snagged for cheap!

Top Purchases with the Discount

Of all the products I buy at Kroger using my employee card, these categories get the most use:

  • Meat – Good meat is pricey. The 10% discount takes a nice chunk off the total bill.
  • Produce – I eat tons of veggies and fruit. The discount makes staying healthy more affordable.
  • Milk and eggs – Dairy is another expensive staple. Lower prices help a lot.
  • Bulk items – Buying bulk paper towels, detergent, pet food etc. yields big savings.
  • Medications – Those pharmacy copays add up. My discount makes a dent.
  • Packaged foods – Cereal, snacks, frozen meals – my discount brings down the costs.

I probably save the most in the meat and produce departments overall. But any frequent purchases yield big cumulative savings with the perpetual 10% off.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it – the inside scoop on maximizing Kroger’s amazing employee discounts! As a long time Kroger employee, I’m so grateful for this workplace perk. It stretches my dollar and makes working at Kroger so much sweeter.

I hope these tips help new employees learn to take full advantage of all the savings opportunities. And maybe help Kroger shoppers reading understand why they should apply for a job with us! Bring on the discounts.

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